From Norfolk.

[our own Correspondent.]

the great Burnside armada — its backbone broken — the excitement of the North--Confederate reconnaissance — Northern Finances — letters from Correspondents, &c.

Norfolk, Jan. 31, 1862.
At last we have received some news of the Burnside expedition from a Northern source, and find that it exceeds, in its chapters of disasters, the most exaggerated rumors that have been floating through our streets. The sum total of it is, that the backbone of the armada is broken, and so much damage has been done it by the long storm that reinforcements become necessary before putting the plan of the expedition into execution. Burnside has burnt his fingers in this little project; but he is still valiant and calls as loudly for more men as King Richard did for ‘"a horse."’ He has become terribly severe, and will undoubtedly, in a sheer fit of desperation, throw himself upon the North Carolina coast, in the hope of recovering the prestige lost with so many of his ships. The very full telegraphic dispatch sent you yesterday give the main portion of the Northern news, and I need not recapitulate. The most striking points are that Gen. Burnside expected to find plenty and willing pilots to conduct him through the inlet, and found none; that mention of loss of life has been so studiously avoided, that so many vessels are still missing, not reported lost, and that many of the gun-boats refused to move from Fortress Monroe--whereupon Burnside attempts to shift the responsibility of the disaster upon contractors. Those items will furnish material for considerable thought and speculation.

Some days ago, when the rumor reached the Yankees, from this city, that the Louisiana was lost, it was very generally discredited, and published in their papers as a ‘"blamed rebel falsehood,"’ in order to keep up the public credit as long as possible. Still there were many misgivings, and many fears that all was not right; and some went so far as to hint at disasters which the Government (a la Ball's Bluff) was trying to conceal. On Thursday, however, the startling news burst upon the people, and, of course, was differently received. In New York the excitement was intense. Stocks fell at once; the Bulls and Bears went to gambling furiously; brokers regarded the information as news of the sinking of a vast amount of money; ship owners saw in it new chances for speculation, and a ready sale for more old hulks; contractors saw new bargains in supplies.--But the mass of the people saw the failure of one of their dearest hopes and immense destruction of public property, and its consequent loss of life. See how differently the world looks at disaster!

We now have information from both sides. Burnside arrived at Hatteras on the 15th; some of his vessels ran ashore and were lost; others were missing; a few he got inside, where he now is endeavoring to get the remainder over the bar. Several times his fleet has been seriously annoyed by our little gun-boats, although the sea was too high for them to operate with success. On Monday and Tuesday of last week two of our steamers went down Pamlico sound on a reconnoitering expedition. At about 11 o'clock, A. M., as they were nearing Hatteras, three or four Yankee steamers hove in sight. Our vessels pushed on, when the number of the enemy soon increased to twenty-one, and all joined in chasing our two gun-boats. After keeping up the chase for several hours, our vessels being faster than theirs, all dropped except four, and at dusk they were still in sight some miles behind. Our gun-boats rejoined the fleet. Since, two or three gun-boats have been down at different times and met with the same experience. It was thought that as soon as the sea became calm there would be a fight.

But it is useless for me to speak further of this affair, as the full extracts from Northern papers, which will be sent you, gives the information at greater length than I would be able to do in my short corner of the paper. I hope, however, to go down to the sound tomorrow, and shall possibly, glean some items of interest for those who choose to follow me in the journey.

Another important item is regarding financial affairs in Yankeedom, which grow no better as rapidly as can be imagined. A vast public debt is accumulating, with no prospect as yet of money to meet it. The probability of a paper currency has caused an increase of price in every quarter, preparatory to its certain depreciation, and thinking men are becoming seriously alarmed. There is strong opposition to the bill I spoke of in my last, to raise money by direct taxation for a series of years, and it is believed that the bill cannot pass the House, owing to the fierce denunciation of it by the Western members. If it fails, what, in the name of wonder, can be done next? What new expedient can be devised?

Since I last wrote, many letters of encouragement have been sent me by unknown persons, some of them so kindly that I beg leave to notice them, promising not to encumber your columns often with private affairs. I would inform ‘"T. M."’ that I think it impossible to get the back numbers he requires; inquire at the Dispatch office. ‘ "Tar Forest Nymphs"’ wish to know if I would object to give them certain information of a personal nature? None in the world, my dear Oreades; but, then, if I tell you here, there is that sly step-dame — the public — who will hear every word. What else can I say except to express gratification at your note? ‘"J."’ sends me an elegant smoking-cap — so fine indeed that it makes me quite ashamed of my poor little, dingy pipe, with its wooden bowl. I wish I knew ‘"J.'s"’ address, that I might express my thanks. From ‘"Lillian Clifford"’ I have a little book of pins and needles. They will prove very useful to me, for my buttons are the most obstinate in existence; they will persist in coming off at the most unwarranted time. ‘"C.,"’ I publish it at your desire.


Here it is:

All day long beside the window,
Gazing through the mist and rain,
Up and down the street she watches--
Watches closely — but in vain;
And with half a sigh she murmurs,
‘"Will he never come again?"’

All day long beside the window,
In both hope and fear she sate,
And the hopes and fears commingled,
Make her whole frame palpitate--
Pill her beating heart with wonder,
Why it is he comes so late.

And the light grows dim and dimmer,
Night advances on the day,
One by one the street lamps glimmer,
Through the darkness, far away--
Then she says, ‘"I wait no longer,"’
And she slowly turns away.

Once again beside the window--
Only dark and rain she sees--
Then she turns from weary waiting,
Softly strikes the ivory keys,
Pouring out her wealth of sadness
In bewaiting threnodies.

Bloomy hours of expectation!
By the daylight's steady glare
Beauty she at the
Folds her dress and position her hair,
when he stacks before her,
If he, too, will out her faist.

But he comes not, in her chamber,
Can oppressed try nothing
She throws her face upon the pillow,
And relieves her grief in tears,
Sadly weeping, until sleep,
Like some good angel, self appears.

Night, with all its dreams, is over,
And the morning comes again,
Bringing news of a fierce battle,
Fought upon Manassas plain;
And she reads, with deepest anguish,
His dear name among the slain.


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